Review by Psycho Penguin

"One of the most hyped video games of all time lives up to expectations.. almost."

Introduction

Metal Gear Solid was released at the end of 1998, to much fanfare. Hardly ever had a game had to live up to so much hype and so much expectactions. Magazines like PSX ran preview after preview, calling Metal Gear Solid the greatest Playstation game ever. So when the game was finally released, I made sure to make it my mission to go down to Blockbuster Video and rent out a copy of ''the greatest Playstation game ever''.

After all, EGM had given it four 10's, which is a rarity in itself, so how could the game NOT live up to my expectactions? Well, after going home and beating the game in 9 hours, I realized that the game really wasn't all that it was cracked up to be. Did I like it? Yes. Did I have a fun time playing it? Sure. Was it the greatest thing I've ever played? Far from it. Sure the game was good but it wasn't the experience it was cracked up to be.

So, Metal Gear Solid is kind of a double-edged sword. I'll be the first to admit that this is a fantastic game, with killer graphics, excellent control, and gameplay that remains unrivaled to this day. But on the other hand, the game did not live up to all the hype, in my opinion. So I can judge this game in one of two ways: its failure to live up to the hype, or how good the game is. I have chosen to just talk about how good the game is, and point out some of the minor flaws along the way. Enjoy!

Graphics (9.1/10)

These are some of the best graphics ever seen on the Playstation, bar none. My jaw nearly hit the floor the first time I saw the graphics in this game. There is hardly any sign of polygons and the game has a certain atmsosphere
to it, its just has to be seen to be believed. The backgrounds in the game are wonderfully designed and the enemy designs are crisp and vert well done. There are some spots in the game, however, especially during the beginning of the game, where the game appears to be too dark, and you can't really see what's going on. However, its meant to be like this, and the graphics are very good overall.

Character designsin the game are just fantastic. Besides the obvious characters like Snake, there are other characters that have nice designs to them as well. Most of the characters can only be seen during the various cut scenes, which is not so bad because the cut scenes make the characetrs look even better than they would have been had they not been featured in the cut scenes. Overall, the character designs in the game are great.

Enemy designsin the game are outstanding, even if there is a lack of variety in the design of the enemies. Most of the enemies are your basic soliders with white or orange suits, which really isn't all that big of a deal, because they still look great. The boss designs in the game are simply fantastic. Liquid Snake, Metal Gear, all of the bosses look fantastic and have wonderful designs to them. There is definitely a variety of boss designs, and they all look fantastic. Overall, the enemy and boss designs in the game are great!

Overall, the graphics in the game are fantastic, although not quite to the level as was hyped. I think the two biggest problems with the graphics in the game are the fact that some of the areas are a little too dark for my liking, and the fact that certain graphical errors are found, like blurring and slowdown. Otherwise, the graphics in the game are great!

Music/Sound (9.4/10)

Again, the music and sound are good in that they add to the atmospher that the game is trying to convey. The music has this mysterious tone to it that is superb in making the whole game seem mor mysterious, especially when you're sneaking around trying to avoid the guards. I love the music that plays when you are spotted by a guard and have to avoid them, that music is some of the best I have ever heard in a game, ever. Sound effects are equally as great, there are superb voice acting featured throughout the game, especially during cut scenes.

Musicin Metal Gear Solid is fantastic and is home to some of the most classic music ever heard in a video game (well, besides the fact that the music did appear in the original Metal Gear for NES game). The music that plays when an enemy spots you is fantastic, and the game over music is equally as cool. But nothing beats that battle music, in my opinion. It really pumps you up when it comes to avoiding and eventually killing the enemies. Overall, the music in the game is everything I expected it to be, which is simply fantastic.

Sound effect wise, the sound effects in Metal Gear Solid are great as well. There is a lot of great voice acting in the game, which is mainly featured in the numerous cut scenes which occur reguraly throughout the game. Besides the great voice acting, there are also a lot of sound effects featured throughout the gameplay itself, ranging from the sounds of the enemies yelling at one another to the sounds of the various weapons being fired. It really is quite good. Overall, the sound efefcts in the game are great.

Overall, the music and sound effects in the game are fantastic. The classic music from the original Metal Gear is featured, and sounds just as good as ever, and the sound efefcts can't be beat. The voice acting is outstanding, and overall the audio effects in the game are simply amazing, and some of the best yet heard on the Playstation.

Gameplay/Control (9.3/10)

Metal Gear Solid had some quality gameplay, but it probably won't stand up to the elite Playstation games in the long run. First the good, and trust me there is a lot. Metal Gear Solid is unlike any other FPS in that the object of the game is to be as sneaky as possible. Yup, when you see a guard, its better to hide from him then to try to blast him down with some weapons. This adds a whole new element to the game.

The bad thing about the game, and this isn't a big thing, is that it's too short. I beat it in 9 hours, and expected at least 15 hours. i wasn't expecting a huge game, but I expected more than 9 hours. Regardless, I had a lot of fun during those nine hours, and isn't that all that matters? Yes, the game really didn't take all that long to beat, and yes it was kind of short, even with all the cut scenes included, but it was so fun to play it didn't matter. Who says this game has to be as long as an RPG anyways?

A missing element from the game is a multiplayer mode. Yes, I know what you are thinking, why should this game have a multiplayer mode? It's not a first person shooter, it's just a spy/adventure game! Well, I think that there should be a multiplayer mode in the game, dealing with the first person shooter aspects of the game. Not that it matters though, I am not complaining that there isn't a multiplayer mode in the game, I just think it would have been cool, that's all.

Metal Gear Solid was compared a lot to Goldeneye when it came out, which boggles my mind. This is not a first person shooter, so why should it be compared to one? This game is more like a spy simulant game, in the fact that the object of the game is to avoid your enemies, not necessarily to kill them. This is a revolutionary idea because the game involves much more strategy than a Goldeneye or Medal of Honor, sorta like the original Metal Gear.

Controlin Metal Gear Solid is, well, solid. It is very easy to switch items while on the run, and moving Snake around the various places is easy. The controls are responsive and smooth and make good use of the analog contol capabilities of the Dual Shock Controller. Overall, the control in Metal Gear Solid is perfect.

Overall, the gameplay and control in Metal Gear Solid is great, and almost lives up to the huge hype that surrounded the game. The control is smooth and responsive, and the gameplay is revolutionary in terms of you have to avoid your enemies instead of killing them. Great gameplay and control.

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Other Important Scores
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Replay Value: Medium

You'd want to play it until you beat it, that's for sure, but once you beat it the feeling's gone. This is mainly due to the fact that the game is indeed a little on the short side, and another thing is that there really aren't that many secrets featured in the game. So this really takes away from the replay value of the game. Overall, the replay value is still decent.

Challenge: Medium

Nine hours. That's how long it took me to beat this game the first time through. You form your own opinions, I say this game is a decent length and doesn't need to be as long as a RPG, because this game is *gasp* not a RPG. The game still provides a decent challenge however, mainly because of the bosses and stuff.


GOOD POINTS
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-Revolutionary gameplay
-Outstanding music and graphics
-The game actually lives up to most of the hype *cough* Zelda *cough*

BAD POINTS
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-The game doesn't completely live up to the hype
-There are a lot of story and cut scenes in the game
-Short game length may turn off some people who expected RPG-type length.

Overall (9.4/10)

Metal Gear Solid is one of the best of the genre, but it will not stand in the end as the best Playstation game ever. Regardless, its fun and innovative gameplay, and cheap price tag, make this game one to buy.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/13/00, Updated 07/16/01


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